School of Nursing Policies and Procedures
Student Responsibility for Program Guide Information
These policies apply to students in the following Nursing programs: Associate of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and Integrated Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Students in these Nursing programs are responsible for knowing and abiding by the information provided in the College Catalog, Student Handbook, course syllabi, and program specific information provided to students. Students are expected to comply with policies and procedures as outlined in these materials. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action as set herein. Students are responsible for obtaining clarification of policies as needed. Copies of the College Catalog, Student Handbook, course syllabi, and program specific documents are maintained in the Dean of Nursing’s office.
Individual programs reserve the right to change policies, course syllabi, and/or revise curricula as may be deemed necessary. These changes may occur at any time during the academic year. Students will be notified of any changes in a timely manner prior to implementation.
Attendance Policies (ASN and BSN)
Students are required to attend class, lab and clinical rotations in all Nursing programs as set forth in the Attendance Policy. Although approved absences as outlined in the Attendance Policy (compassionate leave, jury duty and inclement weather) will not count against student’s attendance record, the student will be required to meet course requirements (see course syllabi). In addition, the following policies apply to Nursing program students:
- Attendance is required for the total scheduled clinical/lab time. Students will be counted absent if they leave clinical/lab for any reason.
- Clinical or lab absences of greater than two clinical days in a course will result in failure of the course. This includes any absence from scheduled makeup sessions.
- The instructor keeps a record of attendance.
- The instructor may assign a percentage of the grade for attendance in courses without a clinical component. Attendance points combined with written papers and projects, will total no more than 10% of the total points for the course.
- Attendance at Student Nurses Association Conventions with instructor approval and provided the student has a passing grade will not be counted against the attendance requirement.
Classroom / Clinical Grading
Classroom Grading Policy
- Grade point average for nursing courses (NSG prefix) shall be determined according to the following values:
94 to 100
92 to 93
90 to 91
85 to 89
83 to 84
81 to 82
75 to 80
70 to 74
67 to 69
63 to 66
60 to 62
59 or less
- In nursing core courses with a classroom and a clinical component, a student must receive a classroom grade of “C” or better and a “Satisfactory” clinical rating to pass the course. Rounding will not occur at the end of the semester when computing the final grade.
- A syllabus/course outline and materials will be available on E-LEOS.
- Students are apprised of course criteria through course syllabi.
- Class schedules shall be prepared prior to each semester or rotation and a copy given to each team instructor and student.
- Class schedules should not be changed without consulting the Dean of Nursing.
- Notice of any changes in class schedules shall be posted as soon as possible to allow for necessary adjustments.
Students may withdraw from a nursing course at any time prior to the designated withdrawal date identified in the course guidelines for each class. This date has been calculated by taking the number of days in the course x .50. A ‘W’ for withdrawal will be recorded on the student’s permanent record.
A student may withdraw from any course one time only. A student may withdraw from a maximum of two clinical courses in the ASN program. Medical withdrawal requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Students may jeopardize their financial aid by withdrawing from or repeating courses. Readmission as outlined in the Academic Leave and Readmission to the College Policy of the Mercy College Catalog, is not automatic; it is based on academic and clinical performance and available resources as outlined.
The process for withdrawal from a course will be initiated by the student with the student’s academic advisor. Failure to complete the written withdrawal procedure prior to the withdrawal deadline will result in an “F” grade being awarded for the course.
Clinical Cancellation Policy
In the event that an instructor is unable to attend a scheduled clinical experience, students will:
- Remain in the clinical area until a college official notifies them of the circumstances of the instructor’s absence.
- If no word is received within 10 minutes, a student spokesperson will notify the Receptionist at the College of the situation.
- The Receptionist will notify a School of Nursing official, who will organize clinical coverage and notify students.
Clinical Grading Policy
- No letter grades shall be given for clinical practice. Clinical performance will be rated “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory”. A rating of “satisfactory” will not enhance the grade for the course. A “satisfactory” rating must be received in order to pass the course. Examples of student actions in the clinical setting which may result in an “unsatisfactory” rating or failure to pass clinical include but are not limited to:
- Client Safety
- Performs skills without first notifying nursing instructor for appropriate supervision.
- Places client in a dangerous situation such as leaving the side rails down, improper use of restraints, positions client inappropriately.
- Nursing Process
- Does not make ongoing assessments of the client.
- Does not inform nursing instructor and co-assigned nurse of changes in client condition.
- Sets inappropriate priorities.
- Critical Thinking
- Is unable to provide scientific rationale as basis for performing nursing care.
- Makes clinical decisions that endanger the client.
- Does not maintain client confidentiality.
- Records false information on the client’s record.
- Does not receive or give report to instructor and co-assigned nurse.
- Responsibility and Accountability
- Is unprepared for clinical (paper work is not completed, medications have not been researched, procedures have not been reviewed, etc.).
- Is dishonest.
- Does not assume responsibility for own actions.
- Does not follow nursing chain of authority.
- Does not interact appropriately with clients.
- Attendance - Clinical or lab absences of greater than two clinical days will result in failure of the course.
- Students will be given criteria for required clinical skills at the beginning of a clinical course. The student will take responsibility to complete the required clinical skills within the indicated time frame.
- The official record of the required clinical skills checklist shall be kept in the student record. The instructor evaluating the student will sign the record when the required skills are completed.
- The clinical instructor shall have conferences with each student periodically and also at the end of each course to discuss the student’s progress in the clinical area. The conference is recorded on the counseling record. Comments and signatures of the instructor are required. Student signatures are desirable.
Clinical Expectations (ASN and BSN)
- Students shall be oriented to each new clinical site.
- Students are required to provide their own transportation to and from the clinical site. Clinical sites may include, but not limited to, Des Moines, Grinnell, Knoxville, Madrid, Marshalltown, Mason City, Nevada, Newton, Pella, Pleasant Hill and Winterset.
- Student groups and clinical practice schedules shall be prepared prior to each semester or rotation and a copy given to each instructor, student, and the clinical site director.
- Each week the instructors identify specific objectives, clinical experience and student behaviors for that week. A copy of this material is shared with the students and the hospital departments involved in the learning experience.
- Clinical practice shall be correlated as closely as possible with classroom activities.
- Students will be charged for replacement nurse server keys if lost.
Clinical site evaluations will be conducted once a semester. Clinical instructors will distribute them for student completion. Results will be shared with clinical staff and a copy placed in the clinical site evaluation notebook.
Course Credit Assignment (ASN and BSN)
- The School of Nursing assigns credit according to the following system:
1 credit hour = 1 class hour per week for 15 weeks
1 credit hour = 3 laboratory hours per week for 15 weeks
1 credit hour = 3 clinical hours per week for 15 weeks
- One classroom hour equals 50 minutes. One clinical hour equals 60 minutes. The time used for lunch will not be calculated in clinical hours.
- ASN class and clinical hours both increase progressively as the student advances in the curriculum. However, in the last semester there is a decline in class hours and a corresponding increase in clinical hours in the ASN program. These are considered transitional courses to professional practice.
Dress Code (ASN)
Student Nurses’ Attire
- For clinical experiences the student will be required to wear a standardized uniform (khaki pants with a hunter green scrub top with embroidered College logos). No other uniform styles (including Mercy scrubs) are acceptable. A clean uniform should be worn each day and it should be wrinkle free. Alterations to the uniforms are for fitting purposes only and not to change the style. A plain white uniform is acceptable for pregnant students.
- As part of the uniform, students are required to wear a Mercy College student identification badge, clean white, black, brown, or navy leather shoes (open toed shoes are not acceptable), hose or socks. Appropriate undergarments are required.
- A white lab jacket/coat with the Mercy College emblem is optional during clinical experience, but not required.
- The student should carry black ballpoint pens, bandage scissors, stethoscope, penlight, and a watch with a second hand.
Some jewelry may be worn, such as engagement rings and wedding bands, and small post earrings.
Body Piercing and Tattoos
- Students are allowed one piercing in each ear. All other visible body piercings (including tongue piercing) are not permitted. Students may use a clear spacer if the piercing cannot be removed completely.
- Tattoos must be covered at all times.
The application of artificial nails (including but not limited to acrylic nails, tips, acrylic coating, silk wraps, gel nails, and extenders) is prohibited for all health workers who have hands on contact with patients. Natural nails should be maintained reasonably short. This policy does not pertain to nail polish. Neutral colored nail polishes are acceptable if maintained in good condition. Gloving of hands is not an alternative.
The hair should be clean and manageable. If it is longer than shoulder length, it must be held back and either tied or controlled.
All ASN nursing courses will include content on calculating drug dosages for patients across the life span. Students will take a medication calculation proficiency exam at the start of each semester beginning with the second semester. Students not passing a proficiency exam are required to complete an individualized remediation plan and successfully pass the exam prior to progressing to the next semester. Calculation questions may be included on quizzes or exams in the ASN courses but will not exceed 8% of the grade.
Student promptness is essential in arriving at the assigned lab/clinical area and ensuring that the student receives a quality education. Therefore, the following policy shall apply:
- In the clinical setting, tardy will be considered to be arriving 10 minutes to 59 minutes after the clinical session has begun. After 59 minutes the student will be counted absent. Three clinical tardies per course equals one absence, and each tardy thereafter will be counted as an absence.
- In the lab setting, tardy will be considered arriving 10 minutes after the session has begun.
- Tardy policies for individual courses supersede this policy.
No Call / No Show
An incident of not calling or coming to clinical will result in the following consequences:
- 1st occurrence: The student will receive a written warning, which will be placed in his/her file, and be required to write a reflective paper on ethics. Guidelines for the paper are as follows:
- Discuss breach of ethical conduct as it relates to patient care and future career in nursing.
- Discuss how incident relates to impact on assignment/work group in the clinical area.
- Discuss how incident related to objectives of the nursing program.
- Discuss how incident relates to core values of Mercy.
- APA format is required. Reference citations are required and should relate to ethical conduct as stated in the Student Handbook as well as other sources on professionalism.
- 2nd occurrence: The student will receive a written warning which will be placed in his/her file, and will be required to meet with the Dean of Nursing who will discuss with the student the consequence of any future offense.
- 3rd occurrence: The student will be required to appear before the Ethical Standards Committee. The committee shall, separately or jointly with the parties, discuss and make a recommendation to the Provost before adjourning. The Provost will issue a signed and dated warning regarding the consequences of any future offense.
Procedure for Make-Up of Absences
Classroom Make-up (ASN and BSN)
If a student misses a class, the instructor must be contacted as soon as possible upon return to campus to discuss make up requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to complete requirements.
Clinical Makeup (ASN and BSN)
- BSN students will follow the course syllabus regarding notification of the clinical preceptors/units and makeup in the event of an absence.
- ASN students are responsible to notify the shift charge nurse of the assigned clinical unit and the instructor’s office voice mail of any absence at least one-hour prior to the scheduled clinical time.
- Faculty and student will meet to determine makeup date.
- The student is expected to meet the clinical requirements as stated in the course outline as though it were a regular clinical day.
- There will be a $25 charge for the first clinical makeup day and a $50 charge for subsequent clinical makeup days, payable to the business office at the College. This fee must be paid prior to each make-up session. Once a student is scheduled for the makeup session, the fee will be charged whether or not the student attends the session. Student grades/transcripts will be held for nonpayment of makeup fees.
Lab Makeup (ASN and BSN)
Attendance is required for the total scheduled lab time. Each absence from clinical lab will be made up within one week from the date the absence occurs, or at the discretion of the instructor.
Requirements When Participating at Clinical Resource Center and Assessing Participation (ASN)
When participating in the Clinical Resource Center, obtaining patient assignment and doing the assessment, the student will be required to wear the standardized nursing uniform (cappuccino pants with hunter green scrub top) and the Mercy College student identification badge.
Students are expected to use standard precautions and to comply with all safety standards and procedures. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action. Students must immediately report to their instructor any exposure to potentially infectious materials. The instructor will follow host agency protocol and students will be monitored by the facilities Employee Health Department. Mercy Medical Center, for example, will provide monitoring at no charge. Students are also responsible for reporting any injury/illness which occurs during a clinical experience.
Student Nurse Role in Administration of Controlled Substances
See Mercy Medical Center’s “Medication Administration Policy”.
- Students must present identification for exams and exam review sessions. The student identification badge is the preferred form of identification, but any form of photo identification will be accepted. If a student cannot produce identification for the exam, the student will not be allowed to take exam, and will be subject to the late exam policy.
- During written testing periods (quizzes, unit exams, etc.), students will be allowed to use calculators to perform mathematical functions. Students cannot share calculators and cannot use cell phones or PDAs as calculators.
- Unannounced quizzes are considered an appropriate evaluation of student learning. There will be no makeup of unscheduled quizzes.
- If a student is unable to write an exam as scheduled, the student may make arrangements with the instructor to make up the exam. In order to receive credit for a makeup exam, arrangements to meet the exam requirement must be made within two (2) school days of the original exam date. The makeup exam must be taken within one (1) week of the originally scheduled exam time in order to receive credit for that exam.
- Students must take all exams to receive a grade for the course. The following conditions apply to makeup testing:
- Students are limited to a maximum of three makeup exams a semester.
- For the first “makeup exam”, a 5% reduction in total points will be applied.
- For the second “makeup exam”, a 10% reduction in total points will be applied.
- For the third “makeup exam”, a 25% reduction in total points will be applied.
- Any subsequent exams or quizzes not taken at the scheduled time will receive zero points.
- There will be no retakes of any written exams for additional points.
- Following completion of course materials in nursing, standardized achievement assessments may be given to assist in the evaluation of student learning.
Compassionate Leave/Jury Duty Make Up Testing
Arrangements for a student to take an exam due to a compassionate leave or jury duty absence should be made with their instructor(s) immediately upon the student’s return to class.